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Enhancing the student project team experience with blended learning techniques

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1 Author(s)
Reichlmayr, T. ; Rochester Inst. of Technol., NY

Integrating student team projects into the engineering and computing curriculum presents a variety of challenges. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, the undergraduate introductory software engineering course has been redesigned from a traditional lecture-lab format to a project-centric studio format. The student team focus has allowed us to better incorporate active learning by promoting collaboration among students and instructors in the development of a term long software project. In order to make the studio format more effective we have adopted a blended learning approach. Blended learning aims to join the best of face-to-face classroom learning with the best of online teaching and learning to promote active independent learning and reduce class seat time. Student satisfaction in courses requiring a collaborative effort among their peers is heavily influenced by their project team experience. The use of blended learning techniques helps to make the experience a more satisfying one by increasing the effectiveness of collaboration in team activities and interaction with the instructor through the application of distance learning and social computing technologies. The challenges faced and the techniques and strategies utilized in the planning and delivery of the course was discussed, including the utilization of online learning support infrastructure. This paper presents instructor experiences, analysis of student feedback, lessons learned and recommendations for other educators considering the application of blended learning techniques for their courses

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2005. FIE '05. Proceedings 35th Annual Conference

Date of Conference:

19-22 Oct. 2005